In the present study we examined the effects of cocaine seizure kindling on the expression of NMDA receptors and levels of extracellular glutamate in mouse brain. Quantitative autoradiography did not reveal any changes in binding of [³H] MK-801 to NMDA receptors in several brain regions. Likewise, in situ hybridization and Western blotting revealed no alteration in expression of the NMDA receptor subunits, NR1 and NR2B. Basal overflow of glutamate in the ventral hippocampus determined by microdialysis in freely moving animals also did not differ between cocaine-kindled and control groups. Perfusion with the selective excitatory amino acid transporter inhibitor, pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (tPDC, 0.6 mM), increased glutamate overflow confirming transport inhibition. Importantly, KCl-evoked glutamate overflow under tPDC perfusion was significantly higher in cocaine-kindled mice than in control mice. These data suggest that enhancement of depolarization stimulated glutamate release may be one of the mechanisms underlying the development of increased seizure susceptibility after cocaine kindling.